While Trump Prattles On About The Economy, Staggering Number Of Americans Can’t Meet Basic Needs

  By Libby Watson Splinter News (8/27/18) A new study by the Urban Institute published Tuesday found that 40 percent of Americans can’t meet at least one basic need—food, healthcare, housing, or utilities—even as the economy approaches nearly full employment with only a 4.4 percent unemployment rate. Remember this as the president boasts about the stock market, as he does frequently, without realizing it’s an indictment of his policies: The people the president cares about are making obscene amounts of cash while the rest of America is falling behind. The findings in the study reveal how widespread the struggle to meet basic needs is among Americans. Sixty…


Hey, Youngsters, America’s Old Farts Have A Message For You: “Don’t Vote!”

An edgy Knock the Vote social media ad has been gaining social media traction this week features old white seniors Trump supporters taunting younger citizens into not voting in the upcoming November elections. “Tax cuts for the rich? Hell yeah, I’m rich as fuck,” one old fart declares in the ad. Another declares: “Climate change? That’s a you problem. I’ll be dead soon.” The ad concludes with a bitter bit of prediciiton: “We’ll be there, but you won’t because we’re a generation of doers, not whiners. We’re doing great.” Link to 1-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018….


Russia Monitor: The Truth About Deadbeat Donnie Is Right In Front Of Our Disbelieving Faces

  Author David Cay Johnston on Trump: “The people he brought in, want to destroy the existing order, they HATE the United States of America. We have a president who is not a loyal citizen… There was an ongoing conspiracy… between the Kremlin and the Trump Administration.” Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist David Cay Johnston’s latest book, “It’s Even Worse Than You Think”, Video.   By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (10/8/18) Dear Fellow Readers, This is a summary collection of lengthy reporting and writing that takes us convincingly and in great detail through the history of Trump’s ‘comeback’ fortune…


All You Need To Know: The Kremlin Hates America’s ‘Malignant Feminism,’ Loves Brett Kavanaugh

Putin’s hand-picked media official sounds remarkably like Donald Trump on women. By Mary Papenfuss The HuffPost (10/6/18) Just like President Donald Trump, the Kremlin-owned media in Russia are wild about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. And their chief propagandist has lashed “malignant feminism” in America for challenging Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Russian TV pundit and media official Dmitry Kiselyov, chosen for his role by Russian President Vladimir Putin, earlier this week dismissed the sexual assault accusation against Kavanaugh by research psychologist Christine Blasey Ford as “like a joke.” Kiselyov said Kavanaugh’s confirmation was held up by “malignant feminism,” which he blasted as a “tool…


Training: Inner & Outer Work Towards Spirit-Led Community

October 12th – 14th, 2018 Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School 431 E. Court Street Viroqua, WI In community life we learn consciously and unconsciously from each other; and we need to be able to elicit the individuality in the other. Inner work can provide accessible insights into the workings of the human soul, outlines its relationship to the spiritual life, and shows the way to develop and strengthen our inner capacities through practical exercises, experience, and deep understanding. This weekend will focus on how to perceive, support and elicit the true nature of the individual human being from childhood to adulthood….


Hundreds Of Migrant Children Are Being Held At Remote, Substandard Desert Tent Camp

  The government announced its plan to withdraw from a court settlement that requires youth shelters to meet minimum safety standards. By Angelina Chapin The HuffPost (10/2/18) Over the past two weeks, hundreds of migrant children have been sent to a tent city in Tornillo, Texas, according to The New York Times, in what experts are calling a humanitarian crisis of the U.S. government’s own making. Although the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) claims the tent camp is a necessary response to filled shelters, experts say that overcrowding is a result of the Trump administration’s recent decision to more thoroughly scrutinize…


Brett Kavanaugh Reveals The Smug Banality Of The Bipartisan Ruling Gang

  By Meagin Day Jacobin (10/2/18) The masters of the universe, it turns out, are losers. The Brett Kavanaugh hearing was a kaleidoscope of family and God and prestigious clerkships spliced with boofing and ralphing and brewskis. It was a thorough dressing-down. In the end, one was left with the impression of an unremarkable guy who was born on a conveyor belt to power, without much obligation to distinguish himself from his peers. On the contrary, his success was relatively guaranteed on the condition that he didn’t distinguish himself from them, that he simply play nice with the fellas — and not…


Snarling Little Lindsey Graham’s Rank Hypocrisy On Supreme Court Exposed

Two Words Lindsey: Merrick. Garland. Link to 30-Second Video and Twitter Responses ‘Angrier, loopier and more belligerent’: Conservative Columnist Warns How Much Worse GOP Will Get After Midterms — “Perhaps instead of ideology or even experience, candidates for spots in any branch of government, at any level, should be assessed on temperament. Without cooler heads in elected and appointed offices, our descent into rage, extremism and meanness will continue,” she continued. “Government by screeching bullies is not a political system any of us should desire.” … Read the Rest (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free…


‘Is Democracy Dying?’

  Fresh Air / WHYY (8/27/18) ‘Atlantic’ journalist Anne Applebaum says the changes taking place in Poland — including a rise of conspiracy theories and attacks on the free press — mirror similar shifts happening in the U.S. Link to 48-Minute Audio



How To Recognize Plutocracy: The Dead Giveaway

  By Sam Pizzigati OurFuture.org (9/5/18) How can we tell when a democracy, or rule by the people, evolves into a plutocracy, the reign of the rich? Easy. We have a democracy when a political system can and does make a good-faith effort to address the problems average people face. In a plutocracy, on the other hand, the political system pays no more than lip service to average people’s problems and works diligently instead at protecting — and growing — the wealth of the already wealthy. By this simple standard, we Americans today unquestionably live in a plutocracy. Our latest slam-dunk…


From The Tony Evers Campaign: Invitation To The Women Of Wisconsin

Women of Wisconsin… Please join me in launching the Women for Tony Network  I have met so many women who are enthusiastic about my husband’s candidacy for Governor, and the question I keep hearing again and again is “How can I help?”   Well, I have one easy, but very meaningful way.   Will you please join me in adding your name to the list of women who publicly support Tony Evers and become a founding member of our Women for Tony Network?   Yes, Kathy, Sign me up!   Even if you are helping the campaign in other ways,…


Russia Monitor: The Boy Bully-In-Chief Brags It Up

  “He was simply a spy. A traitor to the motherland. He‘s simply a scumbag, that’s all.“ — Russian President Vladimir Putin (10/4/18). By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (10/4/18) Dear Fellow Readers, It is a common trait of strongman nationalists to enforce order and attack their opponents. This is more than political hardball and Trump has brought this to the U.S. Trump demurs and says, “many sides” and his cult nods, smiles, laughs and stand with him because they hate the same things — the same people. When Trump offers his “many sides” with a smirk and a shoulder shrug…


Arming Up Foreign Despots, Terrorists, Gangs & Drug Cartels: Trump Pumping Up U.S. Small Arms Exports

Our very own gunrunner-in-chief. By William D. Hartung Tomgram (8/14/18) American weapons makers have dominated the global arms trade for decades. In any given year, they’ve accounted for somewhere between one-third and more than one-half the value of all international weapons sales. It’s hard to imagine things getting much worse — or better, if you happen to be an arms trader — but they could, and soon, if a new Trump rule on firearms exports goes through. But let’s hold off a moment on that and assess just how bad it’s gotten before even worse hits the fan. Until recently, the Trump administration had focused its arms…


As A Young Reporter, I Went Undercover To Expose The Ku Klux Klan

  By Dick Lehr The Conversation (8/15/18) Spike Lee’s powerful new film, “BlacKkKlansman,” tells the true story of Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer who infiltrates a local branch the Ku Klux Klan in 1979. That same year, I also signed up to join the Klan. And at a secret meeting I even met the Grand Wizard himself, David Duke, the same Klan leader featured in Lee’s film. I was a rookie Klansman at the time, and I’d been recruited to join the cause. Sort of. Like Stallworth, I wasn’t a true believer and had a very different agenda from…


‘Fresh Air’ Review: Smart, Unsentimental ‘Heartland’ Pays Tribute To America’s Working Class & Exposes The Class Warfare That Exploits Their Lives

  “It’s a hell of a thing to grow the food, serve the drinks, hammer the houses and assemble the airplane that bodies with more money eat and drink and occupy and board while your own body can’t go to the doctor.” By Maureen Corrigan Fresh Air (10/3/18) Sarah Smarsh is a daughter of the white working class. Born in rural Kansas, Smarsh traces her lineage back through five generations of family farmers. She also traces herself back through generations of teenage pregnancies; Smarsh’s mother was just 17 when she had her. During the 1980s, when Smarsh was growing up,…


Brett Kavanaugh Teaches America How To Be A Real Dude

All-American Role Model… ***** Saturday Night Live: Kavanaugh Hearing Cold Open “Now usually I am an optimist. I’m a keg-is-half-full kinda’ guy.”   Saturday Night Live (9/29/18) Judge Brett Kavanaugh (Matt Damon) takes questions from Senators Chuck Grassley (Alex Moffat), Dianne Feinstein (Cecily Strong), Amy Klobuchar (Rachel Dratch), Thom Tillis (Mikey Day), Cory Booker (Chris Redd), John Kennedy (Kyle Mooney), Sheldon Whitehouse (Pete Davidson), Lindsey Graham (Kate McKinnon) and prosecutor Rachel Mitchell (Aidy Bryant). Link to 13-Minute Video


Feeling Discouarged & Hopeless? Dump That, Read This!

Democratic senators, despite their best efforts, seemed unable to stop Brett Kavanaugh. Archila and Gallagher showed the world what real power looks like. By Jill Abramson The Guardian (9/28/18) Truth spoke to power. And the US Senate finally listened. In the end, after a full day of official Senate hearings, all it took was two gutsy women, Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher, to stop the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh. The two women, who said they were survivors of sexual assault, stubbornly refused to let the elevator doors closeas Senator Jeff Flake, the critical swing vote on the Senate judiciary committee, was…


Confirmation Bias: Accused Sexual Harassers Get Promoted Up The Corporate Ladder Despite Their Behvior

By Elizabeth C. Tippett The Converation (9/28/18) One day after hearing emotional testimony from accuser Christine Blasey Ford, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to become a U.S. Supreme Court justice pending an FBI investigation. For millions of American women – both those who’ve survived assault and those who have experienced workplace harassment – seeing a man on the path to promotion despite allegations of harassment is jarring yet painfully familiar. Recent examples include former CBS Chair Les Moonves and Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, not to mention media mogul Harvey Weinstein. Sadly, this brand of discrimination has been undermining equality in the workplace for decades. Burning at two levels…



With Nation Transfixed By Kavanaugh Monstrosity, House GOP Votes To Give Rich Yet Another $3 Trillion In Tax Cuts

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (9/28/18) With the nation’s attention rightly transfixed by the Senate GOP’s monstrous efforts to ram through a Supreme Court nominee who has been credibly accused by multiple women of sexual assault, House Republicans on Friday voted overwhelmingly to approve another $3 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans just weeks before the November midterms. “Today the GOP doubled down on last year’s giveaway to the donor class known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” Morris Pearl, chair of the Patriotic Millionaires, said in a statement following the 220-191 vote. “Tax Cuts 2.0 gives nearly $3 trillion…


As Millions Of Taxpayers Go Without Health Insurance The Pentagon Rushes To Spend $110 Billion Before End Of Month

  By Daniel Moritz-Rabson Newsweek (9/28/18) The Pentagon is expected to spend more than $111 billion in three months as it rushes to use the remainder of its $700-billion budget before the end of the 2018 fiscal year on September 30, Defense One reported. As of early August, the Defense Department had only allocated contracts worth $177 billion out of an expected $574 billion in discretionary spending, the outlet said, citing analysis by The Pulse. “The spending spree is the product of the omnibus budget agreement signed six months late in March coupled with funding increases of $80 billion for defense,” Defense One reported. “The shortened time…


Russia Monitor: The Master Of Chaos Keeps Stirring The Pot

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (10/1/18) Dear Fellow Readers, The news cycle has been — and will be this next week — dominated by Trump SCOTUS nominee Federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s hearings including testimony accusing the nominee of sexual assault from Dr. Christine Blassey Ford. One important point that could well have been missed was an action taken by the American Bar Association to downgrade Kavanaugh’s judicial rating following concerns about ““his professional experience and the question of his freedom from bias and open-mindedness.” Questions were raised about his “ability to be balanced and fair”, one interviewee described him…


Trump: Our National EmbarrASSment

  Trump Is A Laughing Stock. But If We Weren’t Laughing, We’d Be Crying By Michael H Fuchs The Guardian (9/25/18) For the rest of the world, President Donald Trump’s America is a laughing stock, not a leader. That was the takeaway from Trump’s speech to the 2018 United Nationsgeneral assembly. Trump opened his speech the same way he opens his campaign rallies, TV interviews, and probably conversations with every visitor he meets: “In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” The response from the leaders assembled in the room?…


Authority & Trust: After The Crash, Episode 1 of 5

Ten years ago the world financial system had a heart attack and the political reverberations of that crisis continue today. The Compass / BBC (9/30/18) In 2008 the world financial system had a heart attack. Gripped by panic, banks stopped lending, cash ran out and the world came to the edge of a financial precipice. As millions of people lost their jobs and asthe shock that started in Wall Street reverberated around the world, the crisis led to a collapse of the Greek, Spanish, Icelandic and other economies. Professor Ian Goldin looks at the origins of the crash and he…


Great News For Mass Shooters: One Year After Las Vegas, A New Texas Company Is Selling Murderous Bump Stocks

  By Alex Yablon The Trace (9/28/18) When a gunman perched in a Las Vegas hotel room used rifles affixed with bump stocks to commit the deadliest mass shooting in American history, Slide Fire Solutions went from an obscure Texas manufacturer of a gun world novelty to the main purveyor of a notorious and widely condemned product. As federal and state lawmakers of both parties called to ban bump stocks, and attorneys filed lawsuits, Slide Fire announced in April that it was shutting down. But on the one-year anniversary of the massacre at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, bump stocks remain not only…


Chris Hedges: The Absurdity & Tragic Sacrifices Of American Empire

  Laura Flanders Show (9/11/12) What happens when you force communities, families and entire ecosystems to kneel before the dictates of the marketplace? You get what Chris Hedges, co-author with Joe Sacco of Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, calls “sacrifice zones.” From Appalachia to North Dakota to Camden, New Jersey, these zones, ravaged by the excesses of capitalism, prefigure our collective future. Link to 18-Minute Video



God, Media & Tribal Identity: Why Many Women Ignore Their Interests & Vote For The Frat Boy GOP

[Editor’s Note: This article provides valuable insight as to not just why many women, but many workers and members of the middle class vote Republican even though the party is a direct threat to their families, interests and needs. — Mark L. Taylor] By Valarie Tarico The Raw Story (9/24/18) Lists of crazy comments about women by Republican men have been an internet staple for years. If the party agenda were to alienate as many females as possible, they should be doing quite well. Worse yet, from an impact standpoint, the policy priorities of Republican electeds match their expressed attitudes. Equal…


Gee, Why Would A Woman Hesitate To Testify About Sex Abuse?

Tucker Carlson Criticizes Rape Victims Who Don’t Report: ‘You’re Part Of The Problem’ By David Barden HuffPost (9/26/18) Fox News host Tucker Carlson has slammed sexual assault survivors who don’t report their abusers, labeling them as “part of the problem” for not fulfilling their “obligation to tell us.” It’s the second time in as many weeks that Carlson has blamed victims of abuse for failing to protect “the other 320 million people who live here” while discussing the allegations leveled by research psychologist Christine Blasey Ford against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The professor at Palo Alto University in California, who goes…


When The Muzzle Finally Comes Off

The ‘brank’ torture device for ‘scolding’ women. By Rebecca Traister The Cut (9/24/18) I write this not knowing if by the time it is published, Brett Kavanaugh will still be the Supreme Court nominee, or whether more people will have come forward with more stories of assault or degradation, or whether Chuck Grassley or Donald Trump will have doubled down on their inhumanity, or whether there will be more evidence put forth discrediting the women coming forward with stories about Brett Kavanaugh or other men currently engaged in his defense. There is so much I don’t know about what’s going to happen next, whether…


David Glosser: “Stephen Miller Is An Immigration Hypocrite. I Know Because I’m His Uncle”

  Democracy Now! (9/26/18) White House senior adviser Stephen Miller is the mastermind behind many of the Trump administration’s widely condemned immigration policies, including family separation, the Muslim ban and slashing the number of refugees admitted to the United States. Now he’s behind a proposal that will make it harder for immigrants to become citizens or get green cards if they have ever used a range of public benefit programs, including Obamacare, children’s health insurance and food stamps. Stephen Miller’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies are leading some in his own family to speak out against him. We speak with Dr….


The Washington Post Tried To Penalize Writer For Criticizing Owner Jeff Bezos. He Fought Back—And Won

  By David Dayen In These Times (9/18/18) Fredrick Kunkle was upset. A staff writer for the Washington Post’s Metro desk, he noticed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the owner of his newspaper, musing on Twitter about what to do with his money, which happens to be more than any human being has ever accumulated in modern history. Kunkle had an idea for the funds: reversing the hits Bezos had forced upon Post workers in successive contract negotiations. The co-chair of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild’s collective bargaining unit at the paper, Kunkle witnessed in 2014 Bezos’ management team freeze defined-benefit pensions for non-union employees, replacing them with a lump sum or annuity…


Recent Terror Attack In Iran May Have Been Hatched To Pull US Into War On Behalf Of Saudi Arabia

  By Trita Parsi Middle East Eye (9/22/18) Iran has been hit by yet another terrorist attack. At least 29 people were killed in the southwestern city of Ahvaz when gunmen opened fire on a crowd watching a military parade on Iran’s equivalent of Memorial Day. But unlike previous terror attacks, this one may spark a much larger regional conflagration – involving not just regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran, but also the United States. In fact, it may have been designed to trigger just that. The terrorist attack, which was first claimed by an Arab separatist group with alleged…


‘Shameless’: Trump Repeals Rule Crafted To Prevent Oil-Carrying ‘Bomb Trains’ From Derailing & Exploding

    By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (9/25/18) n a move that outraged environmentalists and increased the chances of deadly and destructive accidents, the Trump administration’s Department of Transportation (DOT) has repealed an Obama-era rule that mandated safety upgrades for “dangerous” oil tanker trains to reduce the possibility of derailments, explosions, and spills. “This commonsense rule was put in place in response to a series of deadly accidents, and this shameless decision to repeal it will mean more workers and communities are put at risk,” declared Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign director Kelly Martin. The rule required trains carrying…


Russia Monitor: The Worried Witch Of The West Wing

“Regrettably, we found that China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election coming up in November against my administration. They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade.” — Trump to UN Security Council (9/26/18) By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (9/27/18) Dear Fellow Readers, Along with all the accusations of Russian hacking and claims of U.S. ‘readiness’ ,Trump offers his own news that it’s China we have to watch because “they do not want me to win”. It’s hard to take anything at face…


If Trump Fires Rosenstein… Here’s The Rapid Response Plan To Flood The Nation’s Streets

  Common Dreams Staff (9/24/18) While crucial questions remain about exactly how a White House meeting between Trump administration officials and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will play out on Monday, progressive groups are reminding the nation that if Rosenstein is fired there’s a plan to take to the streets in massive numbers. “You know those signs that say ‘In case of emergency, break glass?’” wrote The Atlantic‘s David Frum after news broke that Rosenstein had been summoned to the White House, with multiple news stories reporting that his ouster was likely imminent. “This is that emergency.” As Common Dreams has previously reported, progressive advocacy…


Fire, Flood & Drought: America’s Era Of Mass Climate Disaster Migration Has Begun

  By Oliver Milman The Guardian (9/24/18) After her house flooded for the third year in a row, Elizabeth Boineau was ready to flee. She packed her possessions into dozens of boxes, tried not to think of the mold and mildew-covered furniture and retreated to a second-floor condo that should be beyond the reach of pounding rains and swelling seas. Boineau is leaving behind a handsome, early 20th-century house in Charleston, South Carolina, the shutters painted in the city’s eponymous shade of deep green. Last year, after Hurricane Irma introduced 8in of water into a home Boineau was still patching up from…


While The Wealthy Get Their Tax Cuts, Hidden Homelessness Crisis Afflicts California

In the United States it is parking lots instead of homes. VICE News (9/6/18) There is a shortage of affordable housing in every state in the country, but it’s especially bad in California — where there’s only one affordable housing unit for every five extremely low income households. The gap is not only pushing more and more people out onto the streets—it’s also creating a new, fast-growing, and hidden class of homelessness: People who in the past would have been able to afford a room or apartment but now live in their cars by necessity. Danielle Williams is one of…


Lightweight: The Democratic Party Went AWOL In 2016 – And Two Years On Is Still Missing

By Cas Mudde The Guardian (9/20/18) On 8 November 2016 Donald Trump won the US presidency. But it was also the day the Democratic party went awol. Almost two years later, the Democrats are still not to be found. They have no clear leader, or even leadership team, no convincing analysis of why they lost the election, and, consequently, no strategy to do better next time. In a July 2017 Washington Post-ABC News poll a majority of Americans (52%) said the Democratic party “just stands against Trump”, while just a minority (37%) believed the party “stands for something”. I seriously doubt these numbers will…